Jane and Jeremy in Iowa Review Web

Iowa Review Web pic from their websiteJeremy Douglass, my wonderful co-blogger at WRT, interviewed new media arts legend Nick Montfort for the current issue of the Iowa Review Web. Jane McGonigal, ARG researcher and designer, was also interviewed (by Scott Rettberg — another new media arts legend and guest editor for the issue).

Jane claims that players create Gesamtkunstwerk. I have cited Wagner’s ‘total work of art’ as a prefiguring notion of cross-media entertainment for a couple of years now. It is something academics and artists understand immediately when I use it to explain the use of multiple media platforms as an artwork. Indeed, I use in my latest paper. Jane, however, is claiming that digital games players create Gesamtkunstwerk (in terms of performance). Performance is Jane’s lens, just as mine is cross-media and cross-arts, and so I see how this relates. I disagree, however, that digital games are the form of Gesamtkunstwerk that Wagner was moving towards. ARGs on the other hand are very close, but there is another cross-media form that is much closer…

2 thoughts on “Jane and Jeremy in Iowa Review Web

  1. Hey Christy! This is a conversation I’d love to pick up in person next time we’re at the same auspicious occasion. I wanted to post a quick note, in the meantime, that my discussion of Wagner is taken from a manifesto for the State of the Art Game conference, which I was asked to keynote with a “bold claim” that would spark discussion about the kinds of art created through games. So I made the boldest claim I could reasonably, if not fully, support– gesamtkunstwerk! But I definitely agree with your post here that it’s not necessarily an argument to take TOO seriously. 🙂 The full text of that manifesto, by the way, is here: http://avantgame.com/McGonigal_preview%20manifesto_The%20State%20of%20the%20Art%20Game_May%202005.pdf

  2. Hello Jane! Ah, cool, I understand now. Thanks for taking the time to come over. I’ll check out your paper and yes, I look forward to chatting with you at some auspicious occasion too! 🙂

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